Drilling technology expert National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NOV) reported light bookings for equipment in the third quarter, but there are signs that North American activity is going to improve at a modest pace, CEO Clay Williams said Tuesday.

Book to Bill

Williams and the management team for the Houston-based oilfield services giant discussed third quarter results and offered their take on what’s ahead for the global industry. Customers still want new and better drilling equipment, and NOV is ready to serve, he said.

“While our third quarter bookings were light and market conditions remain challenging, we are seeing some encouraging signals in the marketplace,” Williams said. “In North America, we believe drilling activity has bottomed and is likely to rise modestly from current levels....